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Military veteran turns 103 on Friday
Athens Daily Review - 7/7/2018
July 07--In 1915, Woodrow Wilson was president, members of Congress voted to not allow women to vote, the automobile was becoming the most popular way of transportation, the medium household income was $687 with an hourly wage of about 33 cents per hour and Bill Vinson was born in Coolidge, Texas.
Vinson celebrated his 103rd birthday on Friday. Born on July 6, 1915, he has lived a long and happy life. After spending about 25 years at Cedar Creek Lake, he has lived in Athens for about 15 years.
Raised in Limestone County, he now lives at Oak Wood Place Senior Living. He and his wife, Theresa, raised four kids in Dallas before relocating to Henderson County.
In addition to his four children, sons William, John and Anthony and a daughter, Kathy, he has 12 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.
Bill and Theresa were married 62 years, until her death in 2004.
Billy Vinson, one of Bill's children, said his father joined the U.S. Army around 1932 when he was 17 years old, later serving in the Air Force. He spent 22 years serving his country.
It is "my dad's fondest memory," Billy said. "He was stationed in San Francisco and marched in an honor guard across the Golden Gate Bridge when he saw President Franklin Roosevelt."
In an Athens Daily Review interview in 2015, Bill said that "FDR was in a Lincoln with the top down. He stopped in front of me. We stood at parade rest for about an hour in the cold wind. I remember they played 'Hail to the Chief.'"
In his military service, he spent time not only in California but was also stationed in the Philippine Islands and New York.
"We traveled a lot when my dad was in the military," Billy said.
Bill is one of five brothers who also served in the military. His birthday was celebrated at Oak Wood Place Senior Living with family, friends and employees. He is the oldest resident there.
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